Earlier this month, or late last, Anchorage and Mayor Ethan Berkowitz launched the Vision Zero Anchorage campaign to reduce loss of life and major injuries on roadways to zero. Originally launched in Sweden with impressive results, Anchorage gets the unique bragging rights of being the northernmost city to try to tackle the issue.
What makes Vision Zero so special? It’s not just about cyclists and their right to life, or drivers and their right to roads, or pedestrians and their feet. It’s about all balancing all the needs and wants of each demographic and finding the respectful, safe middle-ground. I feel more vulnerable on my bicycle than I do in my car, in some respects, and that’s the main lens I look at VZ through. But on the flip, I drive pretty frequently and definitely speed through certain corridors, the same corridors I avoid when I’m on my bicycle.
So how do we identify high-risk areas, or perceived high-risk areas that prevent people from walking/driving/bicycling and what does it take to make them safer for all? Because it’s fair to assume that no one wants to be hit by a car, or no one wants to hit a bicyclist or pedestrian (except maybe you, red hatchback).
To help get that conversation started and eventually to some manageable task for the administration and our community, Vision Zero Anchorage is hosting two town hall meetings. The first was tonight, and it was awesome. The next is Saturday at the Loussac Library, and if you live in Anchorage – please attend!
If you can’t attend the town hall, consider taking Vision Zero Anchorage’s survey. It’s painless and will capture valuable information to help guide Anchorage’s future toward safety for all. And if you live in Anchorage or have Anchorage friends – please share. The more opinions, the better.